But I’ve Got a Sewing Machine!

Punch, 1895

Gertrude. “My dear Jessie, what on earth is that Bicycle Suit for?”
Jessie. “Why, to wear, of course.”
Gertrude. “But you haven’t got a Bicycle!”
Jessie. “No: but I’ve got a Sewing Machine!”

Reading old magazines. Really old. It’s what happens when you’ve been stuck at home too long.

VIRTUE UNREWARDED

Melissa Melinda McCann
Projected a laudable plan
To reform woman’s dress
On a standard no less
Than the models affected by man.

She invented remarkable ways
Of belaying her garments, and praise
Was distinctly her due,
For the neighbours she threw
Into constant and breathless amaze.

Unmindful how some might deride,
She determined her skirt to divide;
No change was too radical—
Transient—nomadical—
Each idea new should be tried.

All draping she wholly abhorred—
Her vials of wrath she outpoured
Upon tailors and dress-makers
Calling them mess-makers,
Banded in fiendish accord.

Point de Venise was as bad—
Never a trimming she had;
For her no chimerical,
Cheap, millinerical, Passementerical fad.

And so she elected to go
Unadorned from her crown to her toe;
A strong common sensible—
Quite indefensible
Funny old feminine crow!

These were the thanks that she got;
From naughty newspapers, hot shot;
From her friends, levity—
Hints of longevity—
Tragical, quite, was it not?

(PICK-ME-UP, 1890)

 

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